Redhead Baby Mama | Atlanta Mom Blogger

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Showed Him How to Watch the Clouds

Sometimes, after running around in the yard like a monkey, you need to crash on the grass. I took this opportunity to show Red how to cloud-watch, and I smiled when he marveled at the shapes and colors. Watching him find one of the pleasures of life, as he took a new view on the world, was the high point of my day...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Easy Lunchbox Turkey-Bacon Rollups

The only thing worse than figuring out what's for dinner can be prepping and thinking about school lunches.  With the first day of school coming to the South in less than a week, I know I need to bulk up my stash of menus and start brainstorming if we're going to be eating more than just PB&J every day of the week.  For an easy lunchbox entree, try making these easy Turkey Bacon Rollups.  We usually have most of these ingredients on hand, and they pair well with a side of carrot sticks, yogurt or whole fruit!  They keep really easily until lunchtime, too.

Looking for even more lunch ideas? You can save 20% with code SCHOOL on any eMeals Meal Plan and get a FREE BACK TO SCHOOL GUIDE (with any eMeals purchase) that includes essential recipes for breakfast, lunch boxes, and more.  (3 power breakfast recipes, 2 lunch box recipes, 2 weeknight dinners, 2 after-school snacks, and 1 yummy dessert) These 10 perfect recipes will get you back into the swing of things just in time for school!

Turkey-Bacon Tortilla Roll-Ups (from the Back to School Survival Guide PDF)
Makes 4 servings.
8 slices bacon
1 (8-oz) package store-bought guacamole
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1/2 lb thinly sliced deli turkey
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (or any shredded cheese)
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce (optional)

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; drain well and pat dry. Spread a thin layer of mayo and guacamole over each tortilla.  Layer turkey, bacon and cheese on each tortilla.  Add lettuce. Roll up tortillas, cut in half and chill before setting into the lunchbox.

Back to School. Save 20% with code SCHOOL

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Girl's Baby-free Weekend

Taking some time away with just the girls hasn't been on my to-do list since Red was born.  Sure, Hubs and I have taken some love vacations together and we've had our share of girl's night out and guy's golf outings, but this past Mother's Day, a few husbands got together to schedule an overnight trip for all just moms without babies.  It was a fabulous gift... Carly, Alex and Candice and I were whisking ourselves away for a no-cooking, no-baby, no-responsibility weekend in the North Georgia Mountains.   I jetted away on Friday afternoon, completely off the grid (except for Instagram) and snagged myself some solo time at Starbucks before really heading out of town.   
I met up with Carly, and we struggled through traffic to one of my FAVORITE burger joints in the country... Yonah Burger.  I can't even tell you how good it is... you'll just have to take my word for it and stop by if you're ever on State Route 75.  Delish....  When the girls all arrived at the lake house, we took the requisite selfie on the dock to document that this was really happening.  There were no babies, no husbands, nothing but us, a glass of wine, and relaxation!
Well, the truth be told... there was more than a glass of wine. With four girls bringing enough to share, it was more like your choice of wine, frozen drinks, or mixed lemonades.  There were even Mimosas if we wanted brunch and tiny, cute, baby-pink bottles to toast into the weekend.  
I brought some games to get us into the first night like Boom Boom Balloon; it's a great game (much like Don't Break the Ice) that's totally meant for kids, but I love it.  You repeatedly poke a balloon until it pops, but you wouldn't believe how incredibly tense you get while the balloon distorts and bends! Carly almost couldn't take the tension!
 The next day, Candice arrived and we met her in Helen to scope out the food, tourist traps and tchotchkes stores.  What we were really after was one of these:
The Wild West photoshoot was by far the highlight of the trip.  We have a BLAST getting dolled up, and let's face it; I was running around the store dressing everyone up and grumping about how they didn't have enough accessories or period garments to outfit us all. Total #costumedesignerproblems . But the photo turned out great! Back at the lake house, we took to the patio, still baby-free for sunset drinks and a gorgeous view.

Over the rest of the weekend, we took WAY too many photos,  had intensely amazing country breakfasts, laughed, cried and had the best time! All four of us were really ready to get back to our families by the end of the weekend. We missed our kids, our husbands and our beds (but not the cooking or the cleaning!!)  I am a very lucky girl to have such sweet friends and an awesome husband that balanced everything while I was gone. I even came home to no laundry, no dishes, a sparkling house, and two very happy boys.  I hope we take another girl's trip next year because that re-charge was just what I needed heading into the school year. Thanks girls, for showing me such a great time! (And as we used to write on our yearbook photos, HAGS!) :)
For the guy's take on the weekend, hop on over to Carly's blog and take a peek!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New John's Creek Famous Footwear Location for Back to School

Since Back to School is around the corner, I know you're thinking about new shoes and new clothes, just like we are! A change of seasons combined with a growing kid makes for an empty closet, but fortunately, Famous Footwear is opening a new location in Suwanee, GA TODAY (July 23, 2014)! It's the company's 16th store in our state, serving up brand-name shoes that are crazy affordable (and they have wide sizes for Red, too!).  To celebrate the opening, they will host a grand opening event on August 16 which will include a live DJ, drawings to win complimentary pairs of shoes, one-day special promotions and a local shoe artist who will be customizing shoes for customers.  (We're big Famous Footwear shoppers, as I've shared before!)
To celebrate the new location in Suwanee (John’s Creek Town Center at 3630 Peachtree Parkway), Famous Footwear is hosting an all-day grand opening event on August 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Shoppers are invited to experience fun activities including a local shoe artist customizing shoes, drawings every hour for a chance to win free shoes as well as local radio station 96.1 blasting your favorites tunes.  
Before you head over to the store, be sure to check out the new Famous Footwear mobile app, which gives Rewards members 15 bonus points just for downloading.  The app makes redeeming Rewards points even easier and gives shoppers access to exclusive coupons and offers.

With Red's wide, big feet, comfortable well-wearing shoes are important to me.  If you have shoe concerns in your family, how do you shop for new shoes? Do you seek out brand-sharing discount stores like Famous Footwear for your family?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

WW: Planes Playtime (Fire & Rescue)

Our whole family got to see Planes: Fire and Rescue this weekend (I skipped the Atlanta premiere in order to see it with both of my guys) and Red was engaged from the opening credits. When we got home, Red pulled out all the planes he had as well as the fire engine from the Cars movie (gotta use what you have!).  After hours and hours of reenacting Dusty's scenes, he asked to back to the theatre! I see a purchase in our future!
Red's Point of View for playtime!
Disney Planes Fire and Rescue playtime

Monday, July 21, 2014

10 Ways to Get Ready for the First Day of School

I can hardly believe it's Back to School time... I keep hearing on the radio and reading on some blogs that, "Summer is in Full Swing," and it's totally not.  Here in the south, we let out of school in May and are headed back the first or second week of August, so the last dog days of summer are upon us.  Red is starting officially starting preschool this year, which means a new routine and lots of preparation for everyone.  If you're getting ready for school too, here are 10 easy ways (everything from picture signs to backpack choices) to help you and your school age child prepare for the new school year!

1. Print out your Back To School sign: If you've been trolling on pinterest this time of year, you're bound to come across a bunch of cute pre-schoolers modeling perfect outfits and holding little "First year of _____" signs. I've collected a few on my Back to School pinterest board.  These signs are pretty cute, and an easy way for moms of future graduates to get all of their photos in order 20 years from now.  I caved to the trend and made one for Red in Picmonkey with a cute chalkboard background and fun fonts...
First Day of Pre-School sign
2. Take your "First Day" photos BEFORE the first day:  Avoid the rush. No one wants to get up any earlier for school for a fashion shoot.  Instead of rushing on your first morning, take advantage of the extra time the weekend before school actually starts and get your child dressed in their school clothes.  Grab his backpack (empty is fine) and if you like, your "First Day" sign.  Snap some shots in the front yard casually and have fun!

3. Check out the BTS Sales and Grab a New Backpack: Make sure to look for wide, padded straps for little shoulders.  Make use of all compartments, loading the heaviest items towards the child's back. If you think that all that gear will weigh your kids down, check with your school for approval of a rolling backpacks.  Consider any stairs or weather that could make using one harder.  Finally, adjust the bag to make sure it rides high and is not too heavy. The BEST part of a new backpack is that you can use it as a time capsule to store your favorite projects, report cards and papers from this school year.  It's all together!
4. Try out some lunches: Seriously... try out some of your lunchbox menus (*this is my eMeals affiliate if you feel so inclined) at home! See what your child likes and what they might not love.  Urge them to taste new foods, and come up with some creative presentations (I'm not talking Martha Stewart style; I'm talking mini bento boxes, cookie cutters for sandwiches and Ants on a Log...).  Keep it simple, but switch it up and have a dry run at your house! (photo from eMeals)
5. Label all Clothing: If your child is in daycare or preschool, clothes will be changed and coats will be left.  Get a leg up by sewing or ironing in labels to all your important pieces. Don't forget hats, gloves and even swim goggles if your student has swim class.  Beautiful, personalized labels can be commissioned on Etsy for really cheap!

6. Scout your Bus Stop: Make sure your child knows exactly where the bus stop is and what time the bus comes.  If you're walking your grade schooler to the bus stop, talk about how to get ready in the morning and what they need to remember.  If there is an abundance of school age kids in your neighborhood, try to find a bus stop buddy before the first week so they feel comfortable.
7. Attend the Meet and Greet: Many schools, preschools and Moms Morning Out programs will have a Meet and Greet day, where students and parents are welcome to the classroom for a few hours to meet the teacher, explore the classroom and have fun with fellow students.  Be sure to attend this important event to help your child find their classroom, meet the teacher and get other important information about his school.  

8. Find a Homework Spot: If you don't already have one, designating a quiet, distraction free homework spot is a GREAT asset for a school age child.  Make homework rules, like No TV or playtime until all homework is completed.  Have adequate supplies at the homework station so your child doesn't wander around looking for them and become distracted.  Above all, be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but remember... never do the homework for them! (Photo from Shanty 2 Chic)
9. Practice Going to Bed Early: AND getting up for breakfast.  In the weeks before school, start setting your alarm clock.  Feel free to taper into bedtime as well as wake up times to assure that the first day of school doesn't leave anyone dragging their feet or feeling less than ready.  Grab hearty breakfasts and multivitamins to fuel little brains until lunchtime. No one wants to feel hungry in the middle of show and tell!

10. Make the First Day Easier by Talking About It:  Remind your child that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school.  Point out the positive aspects of starting school: It will be fun!  If it's not your child's first year in school, refresh his memory about previous years, when he may have returned home very happy and excited because he had a good time.
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